How to Install Firefox Next, Quantum on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

Mozilla Firefox is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation. Firefox utilizes the Gecko rendering engine to display web pages, which implements current and future anticipated web formats and standards.

For the most part, Firefox is often up to date with the latest stable release on Ubuntu-based desktops; however, non-stable builds such as Next which is the beta build, or Quantum, which is the Nightly build, can give you the chance to test the new features or test your websites before the browser version hits the stable repository.

In the tutorial, you will learn how to add and install the beta and nightly build for Firefox using a PPA maintained by the Mozilla team on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish using the command line terminal, along with how to remove and restore the standard version of Firefox if required.

Update Ubuntu

Before proceeding, begin updating your system to ensure all your packages are up-to-date to avoid any complications while installing the browsers.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Install Required Packages

Use the following command to install or check if the packages are installed.

sudo apt install software-properties-common apt-transport-https -y

Install Firefox Beta (Firefox Next)

The first option and the most recommended if you want to try a non-stable release is to install the beta build, which you will need to import the ppa:mozillateam/firefox-next.

Before you begin, check to see the browser version of Firefox installed.

firefox --version

Example output:

How to Install Firefox Next, Quantum on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

Next, in your terminal, import the Firefox Next PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-next -y

Once imported, update your APT repository listing.

sudo apt-get update

Next, the Firefox stable release is installed from Snapcraft, which will override the Firefox Next PPA, so you must disable it as follows.

sudo snap disable firefox

Next, remove Firefox snap. Ideally, you can re-install the stable version from the Mozilla PPA shown later on.

sudo snap remove --purge firefox

Lastly, run the following command to ensure it is removed with the APT autoremove command.

sudo apt autoremove firefox -y

Next, create a priority list that will first reference the PPA. Failure to do this will just revert to Snapcraft for Firefox to be installed using the nano editor.

sudo nano /etc/apt/preferences.d/99-mozillateamppa

Now, copy and paste the following priority list.

Package: firefox*
Pin: release o=LP-PPA-mozillateam-firefox-next
Pin-Priority: 750

Package: firefox*
Pin: release o=LP-PPA-mozillateam-ppa
Pin-Priority: 550

Package: firefox*
Pin: release o=Ubuntu
Pin-Priority: -1

Example:

How to Install Firefox Next, Quantum on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

Save the configuration file, CTRL+O, then exit the file CTRL+X.

A quick summary of the above priority pin.

  • Pin-Priority 750: The Firefox Next PPA has the highest preference to be installed when present for the Firefox package.
  • Pin-Priority 550: This is the Firefox Stable PPA that has the second-highest preference to be installed when present for the Firefox package. So, in simple terms, if the Firefox Next PPA is present, Firefox stable will not be installed.
  • Pin-Priority -1: This is the Firefox Ubuntu Snapcraft repository; this is disabled because who would want to install Firefox from Snapcraft when you can install the stable or beta version from the Mozilla Team PPA? Am I right or wrong?

Run a quick APT update, and this is to ensure everything is working correctly.

sudo apt update

Now, make sure any existing Firefox browser windows are closed and execute the following command.

sudo apt install firefox -y

DO NOT UPGRADE EVEN WITH FIREFOX INSTALLED. USE THE INSTALL OPTION.

Then re-use the installation command.

Once installed, check the version of Firefox.

firefox --version

Example output:

How to Install Firefox Next, Quantum on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

Example:

How to Install Firefox Next, Quantum on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

As explained, the beta replaces the stable version of the browser. Only Firefox Quantum (Nightly) comes in a separate installation browser.

Remove Firefox Next & Roll back to Firefox Stable

In the future, if you no longer wish to have the beta build from Firefox installed, first remove the installation.

sudo apt autoremove firefox -y

Next, remove the Firefox Next PPA by adding the –remove flag onto the previous add-apt-repository command.

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:mozillateam/firefox-next  -y

Now, I recommend not re-enabling the Snapcraft version of Firefox, but this time install the Mozilla Team PPA that also contains the latest stable Firefox browser. The bonus is if you see Thunderbird mail, this PPA also has that latest stable version.

Use the following command to import the PPA. Remember the priority pin in /etc/apt/preferences.d/99-mozillateamppa has been pre-setup if you copied the example.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/ppa -y

Now update your APT repository listing to reflect the changes.

sudo apt update

Re-install the stable default version of Firefox.

sudo apt install firefox -y

Once installed, check the version of Firefox.

firefox --version

Example output:

How to Install Firefox Next, Quantum on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

And that’s it. You have successfully removed the nightly build from your Ubuntu desktop.

Install Firefox Quantum (Firefox Nightly)

The second option for those wanting to test the bleeding edge developer build of Firefox, which is named Firefox Quantum Nightly, you will need to install it from the ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa.

The one benefit about these nightly builds is that Firefox Quantum is installed separately from the stable and beta builds!!!!!!!!!!

First, import the Firefox Quantum Nightly Build.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa -y

Once imported, update your APT repository listing.

sudo apt update

Now, make sure any existing Firefox browser windows are closed and execute the following command.

sudo apt install firefox-trunk -y

Once installed, check the version of Firefox.

firefox-trunk --version

Example output:

How to Install Firefox Next, Quantum on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

The Firefox Quantum Nightly build icon will look slightly different from the standard Firefox icon, and even the colors are vastly different.

Example in show applications menu:

How to Install Firefox Next, Quantum on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

Example when opened:

How to Install Firefox Next, Quantum on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

Remove Firefox Quantum Nightly

In the future, if you no longer wish to have the beta build from Firefox installed, first remove the installation.

sudo apt autoremove firefox-trunk --purge -y

Next, remove the Firefox Quantum Nightly PPA by adding the –remove flag onto the previous add-apt-repository command.

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa -y

Now update your APT repository listing to reflect the changes.

sudo apt update

And that’s it. You have successfully removed the nightly build.

Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned how to install Firefox Next (Beta) and the Firefox Quantum (Nightly) builds on your Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish desktop. Remember, while testing new features is fun, they will often be unstable, and no doubt have some bugs that may cause some security issues or, more commonly, may crash your browsing session or cause instabilities in your current desktop session.

The beta would be the best bet for the average power user to install and leave the Quantum version to the professionals.



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